Founded in 1895, La Biennale di Venezia is the oldest and most widely recognized contemporary art event in the world. While the Biennale’s roots are in the visual arts, its scope now encompasses theatre, music, dance, film and architecture.
The International Art Exhibition runs from May to November in alternating years. The opening weeks of the exhibition see the “who’s who” of the art world assemble in Venice. Artists, museum directors, curators, gallerists, collectors and journalists from influential global newspapers, magazines, television and Web media are drawn to the Biennale to see acclaimed contemporary artists from around the world and to take the pulse of the international art scene. In 2015 eighty-nine countries participated in the Biennale’s 56th International Art Exhibition, which drew over half a million visitors.
Canada’s representation at the Biennale has played a part in shaping the role and place of Canadian contemporary art within international circles. The Canada Pavilion has helped to launch the international careers of many of our most celebrated artists, including Emily Carr, David Milne, Alfred Pellan, Paul-Émile Borduas, Jean Paul Riopelle, Jean Paul Lemieux, Alex Colville, Guido Molinari, Michael Snow, General Idea, Liz Magor, Geneviève Cadieux, Rodney Graham, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Jana Sterbak, Rebecca Belmore, David Altmejd, Mark Lewis, Steven Shearer, Shary Boyle and BGL.
Located in the heart of the historic Giardini di Castello, the Canada Pavilion boasts one of the most desirable locations in Venice. The Venice Biennale is the only international visual arts exhibition to which Canada sends official representation.